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Overclocking and upgrading a Dell Dimension e520

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July 30, 2012 3:14:37 PM

Hi,
I recently got my hands on an old Dell Dimension e520 and I am hoping to speed it up through overclocking the Intel e6400 2.13 GHz CPU and adding more RAM. (From 1gb to 4gb 667 MHz or 800 MHz). Considering this is a completely stock computer from Dell, as well as a stock heat sink, how far do you think I could be able to safely overclock the current CPU(Keeping all the other components exactly the same, aside from the RAM increase)? I have heard the e6400 is pretty decent to overclock at around 2.6~2.7 GHz, but I'd like some input on that. The power supply is 305 watts for anyone wondering, and the entire specification list should be somewhere on Dell's website.

Also, a quick side note, I do realize that there is a high chance the BIOS are password locked for my computer, however, considering the warranty is done and I have proof of purchase, I don't think Dell will have an issue handing it over. Nonetheless, any input/help would be greatly appreciated.
a b K Overclocking
July 30, 2012 3:35:21 PM

crazybongotrees said:
Hi,
I recently got my hands on an old Dell Dimension e520 and I am hoping to speed it up through overclocking the Intel e6400 2.13 GHz CPU and adding more RAM. (From 1gb to 4gb 667 MHz or 800 MHz). Considering this is a completely stock computer from Dell, as well as a stock heat sink, how far do you think I could be able to safely overclock the current CPU(Keeping all the other components exactly the same, aside from the RAM increase)? I have heard the e6400 is pretty decent to overclock at around 2.6~2.7 GHz, but I'd like some input on that. The power supply is 305 watts for anyone wondering, and the entire specification list should be somewhere on Dell's website.

Also, a quick side note, I do realize that there is a high chance the BIOS are password locked for my computer, however, considering the warranty is done and I have proof of purchase, I don't think Dell will have an issue handing it over. Nonetheless, any input/help would be greatly appreciated.


BIOS is not usually password locked. As end purchaser, you have all the rights to access the BIOS and change settings.

HOWEVER, and this is the sad part, you will probably not be able to overclock because large integrators (HP, DELL, etc) usually remove this option on most of their computers.

So, get into the BIOS (F2 or F12 for dell) and see if you actually have any voltage/frequency adjustments available. Don't be surprised if you can't OC even the slightest bit.
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July 30, 2012 4:50:37 PM

Yep, looks like you're right. I went into the BIOS, and I can't change any CPU settings. Do you (or anyone else for that matter) know if there is a way to get past this? I have heard there are ways, but my quick research hasn't come up with any methods/ how to execute methods.
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July 30, 2012 5:30:55 PM

@Crazy, even if you are able to overclock, how much you will get? 5%? 10%? Don't expect anything more, and I would not bother for just moving from (nn)fps to (nn+1)fps.
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a b K Overclocking
July 31, 2012 2:29:23 AM

crazybongotrees said:
Yep, looks like you're right. I went into the BIOS, and I can't change any CPU settings. Do you (or anyone else for that matter) know if there is a way to get past this? I have heard there are ways, but my quick research hasn't come up with any methods/ how to execute methods.


There USED to be some software OC tools, but they were a hit or miss with mobo compatibility and were usually misses. Today, those have largely died...

Your CPU might be upgradable, to a say, Wolfdale E8500, E8600, E8400. Double check the manual, and update to the latest BIOS before you attempt to upgrade. Your chipset may or may not allow you to upgrade to the 45nm Core 2 Duo series.
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